Heavenly Treasures

My Perspective on Proceeds For Poverty


By Steph Cancino  |  April 22, 2021  |  Return to Blog   


The creative side of me blossoms when I can envision multiple purposes for something deemed useless. Broken pallet pieces and metal rods? Looks like a spice rack to me. A frame with a warped canvas? That’s just abstract art. Two feet of copper wire? I can wrap that into a bracelet. I also enjoy a good deal and avoiding retail prices. You’re done with that food processor? I have been wanting one for months! Your kids are over that board game? My kiddos would love some new entertainment! I, along with many others, agree the above statement accurately describes Proceeds for Poverty. It is a huge yard sale where people can buy anything from scrap wood to kitchenware to lawnmowers at an unbeatable price.
Anyone can tell you that, but I’m the only one who can describe Proceeds For Poverty through my lens.

My name is Steph and I work for Global Partners, which means I “work” for Proceeds. Yes, it is my job, but this is not a “clock in/clock out” thing. This is joining a community of people who serve until the work is done. This is knowing every hour I work, every item I price, every donation I touch, and every ache and pain I take home after moving furniture is feeding children in Haiti and India, helping refugees in Jordan, and providing a safe haven for local sex trafficked victims.
It is walking the sales floor and meeting a family who is building a house down the road from my house. It is praying over a woman going through cancer for the second time while shoppers walk around us. It is looking across the gym and seeing my husband volunteering a Saturday to help customers load furniture. It is seeing my kids genuinely enjoying working their stations. It is a Starbucks run at hour six of nine because we need an extra boost of caffeine. It is meeting and relating to a mom of four about how the responsibilities of being a wife and mom take precedence over personal freedoms. It is swapping numbers with her and planning a “Friend Day” without feeling guilty. It is the extra $5 a customer donates when learning their purchase has fed a child for a month in India. It is meeting new people, hearing their stories, getting a small glimpse into their lives, and
changing lives around the world.

At Proceeds, people find excellent deals and items they can repurpose and transform into something new. While we are so quick to buy something used, how often do we look at something flawed and immediately consider it useless? We throw out a plate with a chip because it is damaged. We donate a lawnmower because even though it works fine, we bought a new one and left the old one sitting. We pass along the toys tossed in the corner of our kid’s bedroom because they lost interest a year ago. This is not a guilt trip because there is “a time to keep and a time to throw away” (Ecclesiastes 3:6). We should let go of earthly treasures and use our blessings to bless others.

Thankfully, we are not earthly treasures to be thrown away.
Jesus doesn’t see us as used and He will not lose interest in us. Instead, Jesus looks at us in our sinful state and says, “This is a Heavenly treasure. With a little work, I can repurpose this and make it new again. I can get rid of that damage. I know she’s been sitting for a while, but she still works, and I have a specific purpose for her.”

I pray the people at Proceeds know that Jesus. I pray they got a glimpse of Him through those working and volunteering. I pray they cannot help but wonder what was so different about this event. Was it the deals? Was it the excitement? Or were they like the disciples when Jesus appeared to them after He resurrected: did they encounter Jesus in a new way and are trying to recognize Him?